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Press Release: For Immediate Release

 
 
      ·        Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, is 
          available to discuss how the upcoming New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on the Abbott v. Burke school
          funding equity case may impact next year’s school budgets.

 
 

Abbott v. Burke Decision is the Wild Card
That Could Affect School Budgets after Voting is Complete

 

 

 

TRENTON, N.J. April 22, 2011 As voters consider how they will cast their ballots for their local 2011-2012 school budgets, the New Jersey Supreme Court will be deliberating the latest arguments heard, on April 20th regarding the much debated Abbott v. Burke school funding equity case. They will determine whether ‘under funding’ in the 2010-11 academic year prevented schools from delivering a “thorough and efficient education” to New Jersey’s poorest students, as well as how future funding will be distributed.

Fueling the controversies, a recently released report by the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) found that the proposed budget is $1.7 billion short of fully funding the state’s School Funding Reform Act. Furthermore, the reports asserts that the ‘biggest beneficiaries of the budget would likely be working- and middle class districts, rather than the 31 urban districts.’[1]  

While all of this means results of local elections may be altered by a post-election state Supreme Court ruling, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) urges all taxpayers to vote on local school budgets with the information they have at hand. “The difficult decisions will always be made at the local level and that means we either have to primarily fund schools through local budgets or continue to decrease staff and budgets,” says Dr. Bozza, executive director of  the NJASA.

Background

By law, each child in New Jersey is entitled to a proper education. Funds are allocated through the school funding formula to ensure the quality of education for low-income students. But due to recent state budget cuts, the program was under-funded.

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Abbott v. Burke on April 20, 2011. The court could issue a ruling prior to the start of the fiscal year. The ruling will not affect the remaining 2010-2011 budget, but changes could take place as early as July 1, 2011.

The gap between current state aid and what is required under the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 is about $1.6 billion. The state argues that New Jersey’s budget crunch takes precedence over school needs and that additional funding would not improve ‘failing schools.’

About NJASA

The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey children.

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[1] http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/0412/2318/

 

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